Supreme Court allows continued construction of Trump’s border wall

Supreme Court allows continued construction of Trump’s border wall

A divided Supreme Court on Friday allowed continued construction of a portion of President Donald Trump’s border wall while legal challenges play out.

The 5-4 order represents a loss for environmental groups represented by the American Civil Liberties Union, which had asked the justices to lift an order from a year ago that allowed the government to continue building the wall pending appeals. It is a win for Trump, who has made the construction of the wall a cornerstone of his presidency.

The portions of the wall in question are in Arizona, New Mexico and California.

Justice Stephen Breyer, joined by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor dissented. Breyer noted that by the time the court reaches the case on the merits, the portion of the wall may already be complete.

“The Court’s decision to let construction continue nevertheless, I fear, may operate in effect, as a final judgment,” Breyer wrote.

The dispute concerns the ACLU’s challenge to the use of $2.5 billion from the Pentagon to construct parts of the wall along the southwestern border. Last month, a federal appeals court ruled against Trump, arguing that the administration doesn’t have the authority to divert Pentagon funds to build additional barriers on the US-Mexico border without congressional authorization. But the opinion had no immediate effect because of the Supreme Court’s order from last year that is still in place.

“The fight continues,” said Dror Ladin, staff attorney with the ACLU’s National Security Project, in a statement following the Supreme Court’s order.

Ladin pointed to lower court rulings against the wall and asserted that the high court’s order Friday was temporary and not the final say on the case.

“We’ll be back before the Supreme Court soon to put a stop to Trump’s xenophobic border wall once and for all,” he continued. “The administration has admitted that the wall can be taken down if we ultimately prevail, and we will hold them to their word and seek the removal of every mile of unlawful wall built.”

Ladin said before the order was issued that if the Supreme Court did not lift its own stay the wall would be constructed by the time the court decided whether to take up the case.

Lawyers for the Department of Justice urged the justices to leave their stay in place, noting that the government plans to ask the Supreme Court to take up the case in early August. Such a timeline would mean the justices could decide early in the fall whether to hear the dispute.

“As the government previously explained, halting the construction process during litigation imposes significant costs on DoD, which can be required to reimburse its contractors for the additional expenses that such a delay causes them to incur,” government lawyers argued.

Blogs

Is federal mobilization the answer?

By Mike Matejka As President Donald Trump threatens to send federal marshals into Chicago, over the objections of Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker, recall another Illinois Governor who protested the incursion of armed federal personnel into the city.   Those federal troops, rather than calming, escalated the situation, leading to deaths and violence. Illinois poet Vachel Lindsay…

In these troubled times, to my fellow white Americans

By Mike Matejka Our nation is at a unique watershed in human relations. African-Americans have been killed too many times in the past before George Floyd, but the response to this man’s death is international and all-encompassing. I was a grade-schooler during the Civil Rights 1960s. I watched Birmingham demonstrators hosed and the Selma – Montgomery…

Workers’ Memorial Day – Remember those whose job took their life

Looking around our community, when we say employer, most will respond to State Farm, Country, or Illinois State University.   We too often forget those who are building our roads, serving our food, or our public employees. COVID-19 has made us more aware of the risk.  Going to work every day for some people means…

Everyone counts and you could make the difference

By Mike Matejka How many federal dollars will there be for road repairs?  To feed hungry families?  How many Illinois representatives will there be in Congress?  Are Illinois communities going to get their fair share? There’s only one way to ensure our community gets treated properly – answer the census. The every ten year U.S. census,…